With the announcement of Google+ Local’s new rating scale, it appears that the search giant is phasing out the Zagat score.

This week, Google rolled out an all new rating system that enables consumers to rate local businesses based on sentiment, rather than the numbers used in the Zagat scoring system.

Now, Google will take customer ratings and convert them into numbers, factoring them into your business’ precise 30-point score — which also appears in Google+, Search, and Maps. Additionally, the company has stopped displaying the numerical Zagat score in favor of the sentiment phrases “poor – fair,” “good,” “very good,” and “excellent used in the new rating system.

Although unconfirmed, this could be the first step toward eliminating the Zagat score altogether. But this doesn’t necessarily mean bad news for local businesses. By adopting a simplified and straightforward process, more customers might be inclined to leave reviews for your business. In fact, Google just launched a brand new, and free, Zagat app for Android. It will give Google+ members access to reviews for about 30,000 restaurants. There’s no word on when we can expect an iOS version.

[Via: Search Engine Land, Image credit: Drew from Zhrodague, Megan Stevenson]